17 September 2010 - by ~ 1 Comment

Gout Boy

A rough week of pain reminded me of earlier this summer when tremendous discomfort invaded my left hand and wrist and forced me to pay a rare visit to the orthopedist. I don’t like going to the orthopedist because I usually face ridiculously lengthy wait periods. I certainly have about a thousand better things to do with my time than kill three solid hours in a doctor’s office. The doctor would be seeing the patient ahead of me and I’d be thinking, Just give the old guy a few aspirin and get him the heck out of here! I ain’t got all day!

Understand that if my wrist doesn’t give a little, my hand cannot be positioned correctly, which incapacitates my thumb, making it next to impossible for me to use the joystick to propel my wheelchair. I kept hearing my mother’s voice inside my head saying, “Don’t cross your eyes because they will stay that way!” Well, I didn’t want my driving arm to get stuck in a bad spot. Duchenne muscular dystrophy has taken practically everything else from my body and I couldn’t bear the thought of potentially losing what little function I have left. So I really had no choice but to suck it up, go to the doctor, wait forever, get examined, get an X-ray, wait some more, and see what was going on!

The doctor poked and probed at two medium-sized hardened lumps in my left forearm and asked, “Do you have a history of gout in your family?” I replied, “I have no idea.”

“Well, if you didn’t have a history before,” he offered, “you do now.”

Yes, ladies and gentleman, Scott Sands has the gout. The freaking GOUT! Great, like my body hasn’t already taken enough punishment over the years! Most of my muscles have been whittled down to useless strands, I need to be artificially ventilated through a tube in my throat, I have trouble speaking and swallowing, I have a chunk of metal embedded in my chest that serves as both a pacemaker and defibrillator, my spine is curved, and I can’t get myself regular. I’ve survived severe pneumonias and MRSA infections, numerous ventilator malfunctions, acidosis and kidney failure, to name a few. So, I figured that this gout thing was merely a gentle slap on the wrist compared to everything else. Gout is a type of arthritis resulting from uric acid build-up in the joints. And I have come to find out that it is crippling and debilitating and can hurt like hell when it flares up! Gentle slap on the wrist, huh? Not!

Since surgery is out of the question for someone in my condition and I already take enough oral medications to choke a horse, the doctor had only two other options. He prescribed some medicated patches, gave me a wrist splint and sent me on my not-so-merry way.

Basically, I just deal with gout the same way I do with all ten thousand other ailments I can’t control. I simply grin, bear it, add it to the list and go on with my life.

  • If I were you I would look for some natural remedies for gout. Drinking lots of water and eating cherries are just a couple of things you can do.